In development for 8 years by the teams at Rockstar Studios, Red Dead Redemption 2 is the prequel to 2010’s blockbuster Red Dead Redemption. Pushing the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 to their limits, this game features a massive open-world filled with hunting, shootouts, horseback riding, heists, quests and much more.
With an epic story or honour and loyalty set at the end of the Wild West era, it is one of the most expansive worlds to date. In addition, Red Dead Redemption 2 features an online mode known as Red Dead Online with even more content and online fun.
Let’s take a look at what makes Red Dead Redemption 2 on of 2018’s best games.
Red Dead Redemption 2 Details
The dying days of the outlaw era
Red Dead Redemption 2 takes place in a fictionalized Western region of the United States in the year 1899—twelve years before the events of the first game. You play as Arthur Morgan, one of the influential members of the Van der Linde gang. The story begins after a botched heist in Blackwater, where you were forced to leave behind the vast majority of your money and thus hit the trail running.
Realizing that the time of outlaws is nearing an end, the gang decides one last heist to get enough money to go in hiding and retire. The game begins as you are high up in the snow mountains running from the law and bounty hunters.
One of the first things I noticed right away is the production value of the game. The way in which the story unfolds, characters interact with one another and are voiced is top notch. Almost immediately, I could feel the effect the cold snow and winter weather has had on the gang as they are trying to escape. Their struggle to find a place to get out of the cold weather and stay safe from the law, really drew me in very early on in the game.
If you’ve played Red Dead Redemption or Grand Theft Auto V, you’ll be familiar with how the gameplay is setup. Red Dead Redemption 2 takes place in a massive open-world, which at first was a bit overwhelming. You have a main story quest, however there are also numerous side missions that will help shape your story.
Amongst trying to escape from the law, you’ll also have to hunt, fish, craft, and contribute money to your groups fund to ensure the survival of you and your friends. In order to do this, it’s important to pay attention to your surroundings and talk to people around you. It is this interaction with others that opens up some of the many possibilities in the game for you to explore.
Gameplay mechanics such as combat and gunplay have been refined compared to the previous title in the series. Controls took me a few minutes to pickup and master, as Red Dead Redemption 2 plays more like a cinematic experience rather than a fast-paced action-adventure game.
A cinematic experience with superb attention to detail
It’s clear to see that a tremendous amount of work was put into Red Dead Redemption 2 at every single level. The development time was well spent as virtually everything is near perfect. Never have I been this impressed by the level of detail in a game’s presentation as I have with this. Character models not only look amazing they are animated exquisitely.
The game’s massive open-world is superbly detailed, teeming with life, and full of hidden treasures to discover. Not only does the game look to push the limits of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X are drop dead gorgeous. If you are looking for the absolute bet performance and resolution, The Xbox One X takes the cake in both categories. The game runs at a native 4K resolution and gives the smoothest performance.
Just a few years ago I would have never thought a game as massive as Red Dead Redemption 2 would be possible. This is a game that you can play several times and each time will be a new adventure. The amount of voiced dialog in the game is staggering. Again, this shows that the game’s lengthy development time was well worth it.
There were many times that I just stopped what I was doing and took in the world around me. Listening to the character’s conversations around me not only was entertaining but also gave me clues as to where a person I was looking for might be. Rockstar Studios has certainly set the bar extremely high that I don’t think will be matched anytime soon.
Red Dead Online
Red Dead Redemption 2 has a robust online multiplayer component known as Red Dead Online. There are so many things you can see and do in the expansive online world. At times it can be a bit overwhelming. From teaming up with a group of friends, to playing co-op story missions, to hunting or exploring, to taking on opponents in Red Dead Online’s competitive modes—there is something here for everyone.
It’s important to keep in mind that Red Dead Online is still a work in progress. So, it’s natural that you’ll encounter a few hiccups here and there. Creating your character is done with incredible detail. You can virtually customize everything right down to the sound of your horse whistle. You’ll want to make sure you set your character up exactly as you would like them to look. There’s no going back!
One of my favourite modes is the online horse races you can compete in. You and up to 15 other players can race online. There are currently two different types of races, Standard and Open race. As you might have guessed the Standard Race is the traditional checkpoint to checkpoint race. On the other hand, Open Race has a series of signal fires around town that you must pass through to collect before heading to the large fire in the centre to finish.
Red Dead Online competitive modes
Currently there are 5 different competitive modes in Red Dead Online—though you can not currently select a specific mode. To play any of the 5 modes you’ll have to join a competitive mode playlist. The first mode is Shootout and Team Shootout, which are essentially deathmatch modes.
The second mode is Most Wanted, where you goal is to get the most points by taking out your enemies. The third mode is Make It Count and is Red Dead Online’s battle royale mode with up to 32 players. Name Your Weapon is the fourth mode that has both team and player-based modes where the more difficult the weapon you use the more points you get. The fifth and final competitive mode is Hostile Territory. This is a team-based mode where you must hold and capture territories for your team.
This is just the beginning! Playing each and everyone of these modes again shows me just how much work the development team has put into this game. Once you are done with the single player experience, you essentially have a whole new game to play.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is a stunning masterpiece that should not be missed
Red Dead Redemption 2 is yet another wonderful masterpiece by Rockstar Studios. The game’s open-world is massive and filled with many things to see and do. At first the open-world may seem a bit daunting. However, that quickly goes away as you start playing and become familiar with the game and its characters. The story is full of twist and turns, no to mention it contains a memorable cast of characters.
The bonds between each of the characters grow and change through out your journey and are influenced by some of the choices you make. From the time I started playing until the time the credits rolled, I was heavily vested in Arthur Morgan’s story and the world around him. In a year where there have been quite a few AAA releases, Red Dead Redemption 2 rises above them all.
Simply put, Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the best games ever made.
+ Breathtaking graphics
+ Epic story with great character development
+ Gigantic open-world to explore
+ Amazing level of detail
+ Red Dead Online opens up a whole new mode of gameplay and fun
+ Fantastic voice acting
+ One of the best games ever made
– For some controls may take a bit to get use to
– The game’s open-world is massive and can be daunting to some
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 5/5
Overall Rating 4.9/5 (98%)
Get Red Dead Redemption 2 for PlayStation 4
Buy Red Dead Redemption 2 Digital Download for PlayStation 4
Purchase Red Dead Redemption 2 Special Edition for PlayStation 4
Get Red Dead Redemption 2 Special Edition Digital Download for PlayStation 4